Universidad Miguel Hernandez (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Pages: 499-507
ISBN: 978-84-612-7578-6
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain
Older people suffer discrimination in the labour market, in that their chances of finding employment if they lose their jobs are small, and the longer someone is out of the labour market, the harder it is to return. Although they often do possess the technical and transferable skills required, these are not always recognised.

Those who remain in work also encounter discrimination. They are unlikely to receive ongoing training and encouragement for career development, especially if their existing skills and qualifications are at a low level. Thus these, in an era of rapid technological change, are more at risk of dismissal in the guise of early retirement. Those in manual jobs are more prone to illness and injury, causing premature labour market exit. Older employees would benefit from, for example, learning to make the case for further training, undertaking learning on their own account, changing to a different kind of occupation, changing their hours, taking up self-employment, or becoming trainers or mentors.

The Third Age Guidance project, co-ordinated by Glasgow University, within the framework of The Leonardo Da Vinci Programme of the European Commission, concerns vocational guidance, both proactive and reactive, and carried out by guidance services, employers and trade unions. The countries involved in this project were Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Finland, Iceland, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Slovakia, Sweden and The United Kingdom.

One of the main tasks in this project was collecting information about any existing models and methodologies for guidance of older people who are either unemployed and wish to re-enter the labour market; older employees needing career management and development support; and those in employment but at risk of redundancy or dismissal.

This paper is focusing only in the Spanish situation, looking at the tools and methods for careers guidance for over-45s. As we shall see, new and recent initiatives have been created in Spain for the provision of careers guidance, advice and information services in business organisations and unions.

For the Ministry of Work and Social Affairs, the priority collective for careers guidance and advice is the unemployed owing to the fact that they receive the greatest amount of social benefits. For the key actors, the main target group is the unemployed, followed by the over-45s (young adults) and, finally, employed workers.

Evidence shows that by age groups, those who make most use of the careers guidance services are the younger individuals (21-25 years), while the over-45s constitute the collective that least benefits from this type of programme.

After reviewing the accessibility of the target groups and the methods used, we will draw the conclusion that in the labour context, there is a specific need at national level to improve the coordination and effective publicity regarding existing guidance services and their accessibility.

Furthermore, attention must be drawn to certain groups whose guidance needs are not being satisfied. The main efforts made as part of careers guidance, advice and information policies in Spain are aimed at the unemployed, with special attention being paid to the more disadvantaged collectives, which include over-45s. As for workers in general, the careers guidance services are few and far between and there is consequently no specific initiative for workers over the age of 45.
old workers, holistic guidance, active labour market policies, social partners.